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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

This is my first non introduction post on here so apologies for breaking any rules/customs and for the giant wall of text.

I've been looking to acquire some battle rifles that fire .308 Winchester/7.62x51 NATO, and have been looking at the following three:
  • A3SK PTR 114
  • DSA SA58 21" Traditional Profile Barrel, Fixed Stock Classic Edition Rifle
  • M1A Standard Issue Rifle
As many of you know the PTR, SA58, and M1A are derived from the Cold War G3, FAL, and M14 respectively, and I was having a hard time choosing which one I should get, if I should get two, or just man up and take them all home. I’ve done my homework and these are just some of my thoughts.

Why not an AR-10?

While I am not old enough to hold nostalgia for these rifles, I was a big history buff growing up and read a lot about the exploits of the FAL from the Falklands to beyond, the M14’s triumphs and tragedies in Vietnam, and the G3’s handiwork in the bushwars of Africa which has led me to develop a certain fondness for them. While I will eventually own an AR-15, the AR-10 just seems a bit...iffy to me. I know on paper its modularity, ergonomics, and ability to be accurized leaves these relics in the dust but it’s just meh. Anyways, on to the rifles.

I'm deadset on acquiring an M1A at some point because the history and legacy (not to mention performance) of the rifle is just unbeatable in my opinion. Along with the wood. Nothing beats wood. People generally have good things to say about the M1A which puts it at the top of my list.

Now come the two wild cards: the PTR and SA58 (which for the sake of simplicity we will be calling the G3 and FAL for the remainder of this post).

The G3 uses a roller-delayed blowback system which gives it more reliability, the ability to throw cheap steel ammo in it and run (for the most part), is easier to disassemble, has (surprisingly) dirt cheap mags, has a built in rail for sights, and (so people say) better iron sights, but comes with the downsides of chewing and throwing brass, kicking like a mule, and having terrible ergonomics. Oh and of course, the HK slap which is big plus points.

The FAL uses a fully adjustable gas system (which I don’t quite understand) which gives it decent reliability, has marginally better accuracy, better ergos, a longer barrel to get the most out of those .308 rounds, looks better aesthetically in my opinion, and well, you know, is the “Right Arm of the Free World”. Downside is that the gas system is a bit daunting, it can be a bit finicky with ammo, and the price tag is quite a bit higher than the G3.

It would appear this post has turned more into FAL vs G3, and I apologize to beat the dead horse yet again, but any and all help/advice is greatly appreciated in helping me choose.

Cheers,
Jimmy
 

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I have a CETME (it is like the G3). I am pleased with its performance.
IMO, get the Springfield M1A. That is the one you are "deadset" in acquiring.
 
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I also have a thing for 7.62 battle rifles so I get where you're coming from. I also happen to own all three of the rifles mentioned as well as an AR-10.
The order in which I acquired mine are G3, AR-10, M1A and FAL.
In terms of which I enjoy shooting most; the AR-10, FAL, G3 and M1A.

Okay so why?

The G3 is a beast and FUN to shoot. However it is fairly picky about ammo and doesn't cycle well with softer loads. It really wants full power loads. For instance it will not cycle with South African 147gr surplus. Although it does do well with German and Austrian surplus (twice the price).
The AR-10 is a tack driver, and shoots just about anything I feed it. Magazines, scope mounting and accessories are all easy to deal with (acquire, mount etc).
The FAL is a joy to shoot, easy to clean and care for and will shoot just about anything you feed it. The gas system is easy to adjust; nothing to worry about there. Drawback; scope mounting
The M1A is a fun gun and it's only drawback is everything for it tends to be expensive (scope mounts, magazines etc). It is also not as ammo friendly as the AR-10 or FAL but more so than the G3.

In terms of accuracy AR-10, M1A, FAL and G3.
In terms of reliability the G3 is top dog and the others are pretty much even.
For ease of repair The AR-10, FAL, G3 and M1a

Hope that helps.
 
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I'm qualified to answer this. I've owned examples of all three for 10-15 years. I also have an affection for the hard hitting .308 and nice battle rifles in that chambering. At range, the .308 pushes a larger pill with more gas at 1000 yards than a 5.56 has at 1/2 that distance. It's a very viable weapon.

I probably cannot chose whether I prefer the FAL over the M1A. I would rate these as top shelf peers. I very much like the ergonomics of the FAL, with the left side non-reciprocating charging handle, I like the safety and rock-in mags. The M1A has U.S. history behind it of course and is very iconic here. I like this action quite a bit too. I'm not in love with the location of the safety in the trigger well. Mounting optics on either can be done but it's not ideal or easy. You cannot go wrong with either. But you have to know what you're buying. NOT every variant in those classes is a good one, and the FALs get very complicated so do your homework. Also stay away from the M1A Socoms. Too short.

The AR10 is presumably excellent, and the most modular, but I don't have a full one built. I have an Aero lower and mags, but have been unable to acquire an upper. Got these right before the all-out blitz and uppers became unobtainable.

You might consider a VEPR or Saiga, which is built on AK pattern platform. AKs are a excellent design and these companies did them right.

I'd rate the PTR sorta at the middle of the pack, below the FAL, M1A, AKs, and a nice AR10, but above some garbage out there too. The PTR does not have much going for it other than reliability. It has the hardest recoil by design, and atrocious ergonomics all around. It does, or did, have nearly free magazines for a long time. When they were $1 each, I hoarded those mags and have an embarrassingly large number of them. The CETME came first, actually. But quality of those is really hit and miss. I'd only get one if I could inspect it closely and test fire it ideally.
 

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I've never fired any of these rifles, so feel free to ignore me. That said, I talked to a guy that has an AR10 and a scar17. He had the AR first, and liked it, especially the accuracy. He then bought the scar, and said he wouldn't care to ever shoot the AR again. He claimed the scar has half the recoil and better accuracy in a smaller package.

Yes, the scar is much more money. You said you are considering buying all three, which would pay for the scar.
 

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I've never fired any of these rifles, so feel free to ignore me. That said, I talked to a guy that has an AR10 and a scar17. He had the AR first, and liked it, especially the accuracy. He then bought the scar, and said he wouldn't care to ever shoot the AR again. He claimed the scar has half the recoil and better accuracy in a smaller package.

Yes, the scar is much more money. You said you are considering buying all three, which would pay for the scar.
I've fired a SCAR in both 308 and 556. It's a nice gun for sure. It was tested but not adopted by any major US units. It's not been proven over significant time or battles. And it's extraordinarily expensive. You're looking at 2-4x the price of a FAL, M1A, PTR91, AR10, or VEPR or Saiga.

On local gun sale boards, the current prices for used excellent FALs and M1As is $1500-$2200, AR10s and PTRs are low teens... Don't see many AK variants but they're in that ballpark.

Never seen a used SCAR, maybe some on online auction sites; so your looking at retail. Lowest I've seen is $3000, easily getting into $4000+ and all sold out. Mags, all sold out FYI, are $50, which is 2x the price of FAL, M1A, AR10 mags, and 10x the cost of PTR mags. So, 10 SCAR mags is another $500... Compare with 10 PTR mags which is $50. Personally, I'd much rather have quantity here where the SCAR doesn't really do anything much better than these proven venerable workhorses. The SCAR gives a little more modularity. Eh, that's not worth the extra pricetag IMO.

So, if you're on a thin budget and want a .308 battle rifle, a PTR with 20 mags is $1200 and will be a capable rifle built on HK tooling. The ergos suck, but they work very well. A SCAR with 20 mags will set you back $5 grand.... and not do a whole lot more for you other than some better ergos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to all, I think I'm gonna get the G3 first because the M1A model I want is out of stock everywhere.
 
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